Culture Change

Digital Learning Needs Freedom for Further Development

Cologne (GER), May 2023 - Philip Schwidetzki has over ten years of experience as a trainer, consultant, and coach in human resources and organizational development. With the founding of the firm and learning platform "troodi" and the conception of the concomitant digital learning programs, he is involved in providing organizations with targeted and sustainable support in order to develop their employees’ full potential. This has brought him to the topic "From Traditional Learning Culture to Digital Self-Learning - How to Succeed in Change", which he will present at the LEARNTEC Convention, 25 May, at 10.45.


How do you define "traditional learning culture", and how long has this tradition been dominant?

Philip Schwidetzki: In my view, traditional learning culture is characterized by block events held by a company’s central learning organization for employees. In the courses, a trainer imparts content, and at the end, learners receive a certificate, etc.
However, current findings from learning psychology and the increased demands on organizations indicate that it is worthwhile to expand and further develop this learning culture. This leads to greater self-direction of learners, more needs-oriented learning, and many other components that fully exploit organizations’ learning opportunities. This includes digital self-learning and blended-learning journeys, an area to which we bring our expertise into the market.

What are the major difficulties in the transition to digital self-learning?

Philip Schwidetzki: A main challenge lies in creating freedom for learning and further development in an increasingly quickly revolving world of work. To achieve this, the organization's executives and management have to serve as role models of the firm’s learning culture.

A further complication is the demonstrated fact of the increased difficulty in creating commitment among learners in regard to digital learning. "Anytime" quickly becomes "another time." This makes it all the more important to stimulate and foster the learners’ intrinsic motivation.

How do you induce learners to apply their "intrinsic motivation," which you seem to see as indispensable in self-learning?

Philip Schwidetzki: There are many starting points here. As I see it, the most important is to communicate the "why". People are motivated to learn when they know why it is important for them to invest time and energy in their learning journey. Beyond this, I believe that learning is successful when it fulfils two requirements: First, the content must be relevant to the target audience and add value to their everyday work. Furthermore, the learning must be fun and varied.

How much digital-learning training is required in order to become positively anchored?

Philip Schwidetzki: That's difficult to generalize. Basically, this kind of cultural change doesn't happen overnight. However, in customer projects we have experienced that learners’ initial skepticism toward digital learning can quickly turn into enthusiasm when they experience the positive aspects in practice. When introducing digital learning, we recommend that our clients focus their initial efforts on people who have a positive or curious attitude toward digital learning. They can then act as multipliers to carry the topic further into the organization.

Is there actually a "blueprint" that will make the change succeed if you stick to it?

Philip Schwidetzki: In my view, there is no universal formula, but there is a list of ingredients that can be combined differently based on the maturity of the organization: Determining learning needs, involving executives and other stakeholders, actively communicating learning opportunities, social learning with peer groups and learning circles, etc. At troodi, we understand the introduction of digital learning as a change project and support our clients on their individual paths toward an actively lived digital learning culture.